Years after studying and working abroad, Rina Mariani is finally returning to her home island of Bali. A passionate hotelier with unmatched skills in the field of hospitality, she is now helming the newly opened Andaz Bali and is Hyatt Indonesia’s first female general manager. Welcome home, Rina!
By Rizky Adityo
E: Congratulations on the opening of Andaz Bali! As one of the few hotels that launched in the middle of these unprecedented times, what has been the biggest challenge you faced?
A: Thank you and we are very thrilled to open the first Andaz in Indonesia. Opening a hotel is always fun and challenging, whichever period you are in. The current period does present unique challenges indeed. For example, our foreign consultant was not able to fly in due to travel restrictions. But apart from that, the biggest challenge is to maintain the wellbeing of our associates during this challenging time. We have to make sure that everyone is healthy and well, physically and emotionally.
E: As the first Andaz resort in Indonesia, what would you like to share about the property with our readers?
A: Andaz Bali is one of those places you visit that will leave a trail of memories. Andaz means personal style in Hindi and no Andaz resort is built the same – ours in particular is modelled after a Balinese village in modern times. From the way the rooms are laid out, to our village rituals and dining concept, guests are transported to the jolly times of village life, yet they’re located in the heart of Sanur.
E: In your own words, what makes a stay at Andaz Bali different from other hotels?
A: Our resort is unique because you get a different ambiance depending on which area you stay in. Some areas like Dukuh are very peaceful, whilst our main pool is for those who like to be in the spotlight. In that sense, no stay is the same. The resort is also designed to evoke a feeling of discovery, with hidden gems scattered around the resort, waiting for guests to uncover them.
In terms of service, our associates are trained as Cultural Insiders, who are keen to assist you to explore Sanur as locals would. Our butler, or as we say in Andaz Bali “Wang Jero”, is personalized depending on guest profiles.
E: If we’re not mistaken, you are Hyatt Indonesia’s first female general manager. Can you tell us the most exciting part of your job?
A: I take great pleasure in shaping and mentoring the talents of tomorrow. Being part of someone’s career growth gives me a fulfilment and joy.
E: What made you decide on a career in hospitality?
A: When I studied in Switzerland, I realized that hospitality offered so much more than just a job; it’s a great way to see the world and learn from different cultures, and it’s an exciting lifestyle.
E: You’ve spent many years working as a hotelier outside Indonesia. What are some of your memorable experiences?
A: Indeed, it’s a blessing to spend over 15 years in different countries and the moments I treasure are the ones where I could make an impact on people. During my time in UAE and Malaysia, I was able to mentor and shape colleagues from around the world. It makes me happy to this day to remember the time I shaped them into leaders in Sales & Marketing and Rooms Division. However, as much as my time abroad was memorable, my homecoming to Bali is just as, if not more memorable. Now I appreciate and see my hometown with a renewed perspective and I can’t wait to make even more lifetime memories on this island.
E: With the world easing its travel restrictions, how are you preparing for the arrival of international travellers?
A: I believe the pandemic has made us rethink how we lead our lives and as the border slowly reopens, hopefully we will make the choice of travelling more slowly and mindfully. The Andaz brand is rooted in a borderless and immersive concept, which is very relevant post-pandemic.
Our borderless concept will be well-received by travellers who have spent so many months indoors; the freedom to roam around from one restaurant to another, direct and genuine connection with our Host, and barrier-free surroundings.
Furthermore, once people start travelling again, the focus will be more on the destination rather than ticking all the touristy boxes, which matches our immersive concept very well. The timeless appeal of Sanur, combined with our concept, will make travellers long to return and make Sanur their second home.